Since the 1980s, draconian federal importation laws have meant enthusiasts in the United States must wait a full 25 years before some of their favorite brand’s models are legal on these shores. And every year, groups of enthusiasts take to the internet to contemplate what cars will be available for importation with the turn of the new year. The arrival of each new calendar year then becomes a celebration of the past, a revisit of forsaken models, a festival of other-market obscurity.
The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming more than just a source for tuners looking for their next drift car. That’s right, Japanese cars are now collectible. (Read More…)
I enjoy your articles advising people on what cars to buy or avoid. I have a bit of a different problem.
My mother recently passed away, and I inherited her 1989 Corolla down in Florida. She bought it used down there, it has a little over 100,000 miles on it. The car is absolutely mint, as you could imagine for a Florida car. It runs great, the AC works well, and the body and paint are in excellent condition, as is the interior – it has been kept out of the sun. Even the engine is in great condition – all the anodized parts still look as new. Plus, it doesn’t even leak. It has had regular maintenance, belts, hoses and fluids changed. (Read More…)
I am a financially stable 27 year old engineer living in the Bay Area, where it seems BMWs and Audis are about as pedestrian as Camrys. I’ve been getting the car itch, but I don’t like the idea of getting an entry level luxury car like everyone else.
Almost by accident, I stumbled upon the idea of buying a early 2000s Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante, which can be had in the low to mid $40s. Aside from the car being gorgeous and powerful, I get to pretend that I’m not just another boring Silicon Valley yuppie (which, believe me, I am) while not being overly flashy (it’s old enough to have a “classic car” vibe). Financially, I would also like to think it has steadied out in depreciation, and if I sell it a few years from now, I may be able to recoup more of my investment compared to getting a much newer car. Finally, there’s something attractive about the idea of having your dream car while you’re young, rather than waiting until you’re 65. So the question is: is this a stupid idea?
Serious Civil War reenactors have a term for folks who don’t measure up to those activists’ high standards for authenticity. They call them “farbs”, as in “far be it from me to criticize another enactor but if they want to be authentic they should be wearing hand stitched woolen underwear that hasn’t been changed or washed for two months, not BVDs”. Every hobby has its one-uppers. One of the things that I like about car culture is that it’s a mosaic of subcultures. Diversity can be a good thing and I’m a big tent car enthusiast. You may be a trackday fiend who would never slam a lowrider or restore a Messerchmitt microcar, but you can appreciate the folks who would and you can find common ground with them in your shared love of things automotive. Still, none of us like folks who put on airs. Every hobby, though, has its snobs.
We all love our cars and can bore even other car guys with minutia about our favorite marques and models, but at a car show with prewar Packards, don’t you think that it’s a bit pretentious to put “historical’ license plates on a Chrysler K-car?
As the über-ridiculous Aston Martin One-77 approaches final production-readiness, watching the thing run hot laps is finally becoming as much fun as wrapping your head around its €1.4m ($1.9m) pricetag. Especially because we’re extremely unlikely to ever see one of these things on the street. According to Auto Motor und Sport, Aston has already received a $14m offer for ten of the One-77’s 77-unit production run, apparently from a single Gulf State collector. So unless you live in one of the tonier neighborhoods of Dubai, you’re unlikely to get any closer to the One-77’s 760 horsepower V-12 than this. Enjoy the taste, peasants.